Defoe is one bright spot in England injury gloom

Fabio Capello named an injury-ravaged squad for England's first two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland but has won his battle to persuade Jermain Defoe to delay an operation on his groin.

The Tottenham striker is in the squad, having postponed the operation after he came through Spurs' Champions League qualifier second leg against Young Boys on Wednesday. Defoe also played in the defeat to Wigan on Saturday. His inclusion is the biggest boost for Capello among much bad news.

Defoe's fellow Spurs striker Peter Crouch, injured in the Wigan game, had a scan yesterday that revealed he has ripped muscles in his back. Crouch, who was left out the previous post-World Cup England squad, is a serious doubt to be fit to play against Bulgaria on Friday. He could be fit for the game against Switzerland four days later, though.

With Capello's England regime at a low ebb, and a difficult trip to Basle next week, it is an unfortunate time to be hit with so many injuries. He is without Frank Lampard, whose hernia operation could not be delayed, while John Terry is also out, having damaged his glute and hamstring muscles during Chelsea's win over Stoke City on Saturday.

The Chelsea captain's absence means that Capello is facing a serious problem in the centre of defence. Terry and captain Rio Ferdinand are injured, Ledley King was not fit enough to be selected and Jamie Carragher is in international retirement once again. As things stand, his first-choice pairing is Michael Dawson and Phil Jagielka, who have five caps between them.

There were recalls for Matthew Upson and Shaun Wright-Phillips, both World Cup players who were left out of the last squad to face Hungary earlier this month. Bobby Zamora, also injured on Saturday, is out of the squad, having made his debut against Hungary. Joleon Lescott, who missed the World Cup through injury, is included.

Capello's new third-choice goalkeeper David Stockdale injured himself playing for Fulham against Blackpool at the weekend and his absence means a reprieve for Scott Carson, who last played for England against Germany in November 2008. It would have been Robert Green but he too has an operation scheduled for an international week and is unavailable.

Surprisingly, there is no call-up for Tom Huddlestone, the Tottenham midfielder who has impressed so much this season. Instead, Michael Carrick was picked ahead of him, despite the fact that Carrick has played just 16 minutes of football for Manchester United since the Community Shield game.

It also emerged yesterday that Jack Wilshere, now back in the Under-21s after making his senior debut against Hungary, was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning and bailed by police. A statement on behalf of the player said that he was unlikely to face charges. "He [Wilshere] is an important witness to the incident and played the role of peacemaker and is unlikely to face any charges as a result," it read.

Chelsea claimed yesterday that Terry's withdrawal had been managed in conjunction with the FA and that the national team's doctors were satisfied that there was good reason for him not to play. The Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti, revealed that Lampard's groin problem was longstanding and that he played on Saturday having struggled with it all week.

Ancelotti said: "He [Lampard] has a problem on his groin. He had surgery [on the same injury] 10 years ago and this week was not very good. He also didn't feel well in the game. So the only solution is to have surgery this week, maybe he will do this [tomorrow] or Wednesday. It means he is not able to play for the national team.

"He'll be ready in one week or two weeks. We have experience because it is the same surgery as [Didier] Drogba and Drogba took one week before he was able to train. It is not a big problem. It is very easy surgery but he needs it because he started to feel pain."

In the past Capello has taken a militant stand on clubs scheduling operations for players during international weeks. He took on Rafael Benitez in public fashion when the then Liverpool manager withdrew Steven Gerrard in November 2008 with an adductor muscle injury. Capello called the player to the England headquarters so he could be checked by his own medical staff in what was regarded as a rebuke to Benitez.

Capello is not in a strong position after England's dismal World Cup performances and he appears to have had another change of heart with the announcement that David Beckham will once again be under consideration when he is fit again.



England squad

To play Bulgaria and Switzerland in Euro 2012 qualifiers:

Goalkeepers: S Carson (WBA), B Foster (Birmingham City), J Hart (Man City).

Defenders: G Cahill (Bolton), A Cole (Chelsea), M Dawson (Tottenham), K Gibbs (Arsenal), P Jagielka (Everton), G Johnson (Liverpool), J Lescott (Man City), M Upson (West Ham).

Midfielders: G Barry (Man City), M Carrick (Man United), S Gerrard (Liverpool), A Johnson, J Milner (both Man City), T Walcott (Arsenal), S Wright-Phillips (Man City), A Young (Aston Villa).

Strikers: D Bent (Sunderland), C Cole (West Ham), P Crouch, J Defoe (both Tottenham), W Rooney (Man United).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect